Follow this guide to pairing popular New World whites that range from herbal and citrusy to rich and bold.
1. New Zealand – Sauvignon Blanc
Racy and refreshing, Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc is prized for its herbal and grassy undertones, which flatter the verdant vegetables of spring. Its lip-smacking acidity tempers the creamy mozzarella in a Caprese, and it’s up there with champagne and Chablis as a world-class oyster wine.
Get the recipe: Grilled Asparagus with Parsley Pesto
2. Chilean – Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc produced in Chile is softer, fruitier, and more affordable than its Kiwi counterpart. It’s still zesty and vibrant, and it’s citrusy flavours hit the mark with cilantro-packed ceviche. And like all Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a slam-dunk with goat cheese.
Get the recipe: Warm Goat Cheese Salad
3. Ontario – Riesling
Riesling thrives in Ontario’s cool climate, especially along Niagara’s Beamsville Bench. The bright acidity of dry Rieslings acts like a squeeze of lemon on salmon, scallops, and shrimp, whereas the honeyed sweetness of off-dry (aka semi-dry) bottles is terrific with roasted white meats.
Get the recipe: Thick Cut Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples and Parsnip Purée
4. South African – Chenin Blanc
The affordable Chenin Blanc from South Africa is an excellent introduction to this underappreciated, food-friendly varietal. Most of the antipodean Chenin available here is young, fresh and un-oaked with vibrant acidity that cuts like a knife through avocado, fried seafood and creamy pasta dishes. The pricier, old vine stuff demands richer fare like seared scallops or roasted pork belly.
Get the recipe: Salmon Tartare
5. California – Chardonnay
While big, boozy, heavily oaked California Chardonnay continues to fall out of favour, it still has a rightful place at the table. The rich, buttery flavours from barrel aging pair beautifully with corn, crab, lobster and veal. If you happen to find a Chard made with a lighter hand (i.e. less oak), open it with meaty white-fleshed fish like swordfish or halibut.
Get the recipe: Lobster and Corn Chowder
6. Argentine – Torrontés
Originally from Spain, this grape is gaining traction in Argentina, where it produces inexpensive, highly aromatic wines similar to Gewürztraminer. It’s silky texture and floral, peachy notes flatter Southeast Asian cuisine, and it can hold its own washing down the bold flavours of Mexican fare.
Get the recipe: Baja Fish Tacos